Women as stewards of ecosystem restoration in northern Nigeria

Youth Showcasing their charcoal briquettes

Forests cover one-third of the world’s land area and remove an estimated 2.1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. We rely on them for food, medicinal treatments, biodiversity, soil health, energy, and more. In northern Nigeria, wood is a common source of fuel for many households and its usage is a contributing factor to deforestation and desertification. This is a direct threat to food security.

Hosting events to support learning and engagement in conservation

To raise awareness of the impact deforestation has on northern Nigeria, MEDA’s Nigeria WAY project held an event on June 8th, 2021 with Roshan Renewables, Sosai Renewables, and other state-based stakeholders. The event aligned with World Environment Day and shared the important role women play in ecosystem restoration. Habiba Ali; CEO of Sosai Renewables gave a keynote address that charged women to embark and sustain their critical role as environmental stewards. The address further sensitized women on their roles in recovery as well as ecosystem conservation.

Four ways women in Nigeria can participate in conservation

During the event, the women in attendance learned how they could work to conserve their local ecosystems by engaging in 4 initiatives:

  1. Helping the government of Bauchi state plant 10,000 seedlings of Acacia Senegal (a thorny leguminous tree adaptive to the tropics) from the Nigerian Association of Gum Arabic Producers, Processors, and Exporters;
  2. Working with Roshan Renewables to plant 1,000 seedlings of the same Acacia variety to help infuse atmospheric nitrogen into the soil (It is also an important source of animal feed and charcoal briquettes);
  3. Participating in the pan-African Great Green Wall initiative to plant 30,000 trees in Bauchi state with MEDA, Roshan Renewables, and other stakeholders; and,
  4. Learning about green technologies like clean cookstoves, eco-parboilers, solar lamps, and devices that support women and youth agro-processors to save cost at the same time conserve resources in their businesses. These items were then available for purchase.
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